New NCC graduate health sciences building

North Central College conducted a neighbor meeting on October 30 regarding the plans to construct a new building on Chicago Avenue to house a graduate health sciences program and a manufacturing processes lab for engineering students.

A 40,000-square-foot facility will be built between Patterson Hall and River Square. This area is currently green space with trees and a sidewalk. The trees would be lost. The sidewalk would move to the west, and landscaping would be added along the west property line next to the River Square alley.

The property slopes about 17 feet north to south, allowing for construction of one ground floor below grade, and three stories above. There will be pedestrian entrances on both the north and south sides. All vehicular access will be from the rear (no curb cut on Chicago Avenue). 25-foot setbacks will be in place from Chicago Avenue and River Square (no variances needed).

The building will be constructed largely with pre-cast concrete. Large “picture windows” will be part of the north and south facades, with a “fin” as a branding element above the Chicago Avenue entrance, perpendicular to the building and the street. The intent is to essentially act as a new gateway to the College heading up Chicago Avenue from downtown. Smaller windows will face River Square. No windows will be present on the east facade facing Patterson Hall.

This property is already zoned CU (College/University District), allowing the College to construct buildings up to 50 feet in height by right. The City of Naperville has indicated that the College does not need to amend its Master Land Use Plan to reflect this new building.

Intended construction timeline:

  • Early December: Another neighbor meeting with more details and more complete renderings
  • Early 2020: Submit application for building permit
  • Spring 2020: Construction begins
  • Summer/fall 2020: Additional neighbor meetings
  • Spring 2021: Manufacturing processes lab available to engineering students
  • Fall 2021: First cohort of MS in Physicians Assistant Studies (MSPAS) students

Questions/concerns were raised regarding parking, construction staging, and loss of green space. The College emphasized that its parking supply has increased 30% since the last Master Land Use Plan was passed (from 1011 to 1315), and that 100 spots are being brought online this week as the tennis courts on the south end are turned into parking.

Kroehler Mansion demolition denied by HPC

On October 24, the Naperville Historic Preservation Commission voted 7-0 to deny the Certificate of Appropriateness application from Little Friends, Inc. to demolish their entire campus, including the Kroehler Mansion.

Consensus amongst the Commissioners was unanimous that historical significance outweighs the repair cost for the Kroehler Mansion. Demolition of the Krejci Academy, Gymnasium, and Administration buildings was approved by the HPC.

Little Friends is appealing this decision to the Naperville City Council. It may be heard by Council as soon as Tuesday, November 19.

Annual meeting October 28

There are many changes proposed for the neighborhood we all call home. ECHO, the East Central Homeowners Organization, has been quiet for a few years. It is now back in action as we respond to these changes and work together to protect and promote our interests. ECHO is a collective of residents organized to share information and come together as neighbors to support each other and preserve the character of our community. Please join us at our upcoming annual meeting!

The ECHO annual meeting will take place Monday, October 28 at 7pm in Stevenson Hall on the second floor of the Wentz Science Center, 131 S Loomis St.

  • Meet other residents of the ECHO community
  • Learn about civic issues that affect our neighborhood and our city
  • Give voice to your concerns as ECHO can best represent them
  • Vote for the ECHO Board of Directors

Refreshments will be served and a drawing will be conducted.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Kathy Levitan.

Save the Kroehler Mansion

The Save the Kroehler Mansion group is separate from ECHO, but this information is being shared for the benefit of neighborhood residents.

The Kroehler Mansion was used as a North Central College dormitory for several decades before being sold to Little Friends in the 1980s. That group has now outgrown the property and wants to sell it back to the college. NCC is eager for this rare opportunity for expansion… their as-yet unclear development plans will likely have a profound impact on the neighborhood.


  • Attend the City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 18 at 7pm
  • Distribute the above flyer to your friends and neighbors

Please see the Save the Kroehler Mansion page on Facebook for more information: